Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Canoe Journeys – #5 Joe’s Lake

Joe’s Lake

#5 (Lanark Highlands)

How to Get There: North of Hopetown on County Rd. 511 to French Line at Brightside. Go westerly on French Line and Lavant Darling Rd. to Joe’s Lake, 15 km. Turn right on Flower Station Rd. just before the bridge.The Launch Site: Small park across from derelict ball diamond and huge gravel bank.

The Paddle: Bear left, follow shore and you eventually reach a wetland channel leading into the Clyde River. Follow channel about 500 m to dam and picnic site.

Watch For: Bluebirds as you approach lake and bitterns in reeded wetland.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up.


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Other Canoe Journeys – Irish Creek

Irish Creek

How to Get There: From Smiths Falls, take County Rd. 43 east towards Merrickville. At Kilmarnock Road, turn south, cross over the Rideau Canal locks and proceed on Kilmarnock Rd. to Rose’s Bridge Road where you turn left to Rose’s Bridghe, about 1/2 km.

Launch Site: Rose’s Bridge, west side. This is Irish Creek

The Paddle: Follow the meandering open channel, through the extensive wetlands along both shores. At the village of Jasper, duck under the local bridge (or portage over it) and continue upstream as far as you can until you reach the beaver dam. Total distance is almost ten km. On the way back, just before the railway bridge is an abandoned bridge abutment with a large single elm tree on it. This is a good place to stop for a picnic lunch.

If you have time upon return to Rose’s Bridge, follow under the bridge and into the Rideau River for further canoeing.

Watch For: Abundant wetland flora and fauna; many pairs of black terns, beaver and muskrat, great blue herons

Seasonal Information: Best before late summer or with high water.

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Canoe Journeys – #8 Dalhousie Lake and Mississippi River Downriver

#8 Dalhousie Lake and Mississippi River downstream

#8 (Lanark Highlands)

This canoe trip is a pleasant glide down a portion of the Mississippi River as it flows out of Dalhousie Lake, along mostly marshy shores, habitat for several species of birds and ducks, muskrat and turtles.

Travel to McDonald’s Corners, west of Lanark Village. Then go north on County Road 8 to the bridge, about one km.

Park in the park and boat launch on the lake side of the bridge. Paddle under the bridge and go downstream as far as Sheridan’s Rapids. Be careful not to go through the rapids unless you are a confident white-water canoeist.

You will find several places in this area (with permission of property owners) to stop and have lunch before canoeing back upriver to your vehicles.

Watch for a side trip north into McCullough’s Mud Lake. The depth of water in this mud lake will determine how far in you can go. It’s well worth while exploring.Wetland birds along shores. Beaver, muskrat, and otter.

Upon returning, you might like a cup of tea at the nearby restaurant.

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Canoe Journeys – #16 Clayton Lake

Clayton Lake

#16 (Mississippi Mills)

How to Get There: From Almonte, take County Rd.16 (Wolf Grove Rd.) 12 km to County Rd. 9 (Tatlock Rd.). Turn north into Clayton Village.

The Launch Site: At dam; parking on site.
The Paddle: Circumnavigate the lake. Following northwest shore brings you into the mouth of the Indian River. Explore to bridge on Galbraith Rd. Lunch sites near bridge.

Watch For: Extensive wild rice beds, ducks and marsh birds.

Seasonal Information: Good until freeze-up. Wild rice best in autumn.

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Other Canoe Journeys – Canonto Lake

Canonto Lake

This trip is about the furthest away from home. Canoto Lake is in North Frontenac and connects with Palmerston Lake. From any direction, travel to Hopetown on highway 511. Go north a few kms to Lanark County Road 16, turn west, through Poland and on to the end of 16 at 509. Travel north on 509 a few kms to the Canoto/Palmerston Conservation Area sign. Turn east on this road. Do not turn off towards Conservation area which is a few kms down the road (unless you want to visit it) but continue east to the public boat launch at the east end of Canoto Lake, about 6km. Launch you canoe into the short river which leads into the lake. This is a very pretty lake, with islands and numerous little bays to stop and have lunch (with permission of property owners). You will probably get around half the lake before lunch time and, depending upon how long you want to paddle, decide when you want to turn back to your car.

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